business degree
Source: Saïd Business School

Amidst relentless dire predictions about the state of the planet and its people, the need for sustainable solutions and positive social impact has become increasingly urgent. While the challenges we face may seem daunting, one industry stands out for its potential to solve what the UN calls “the defining issue of this generation”: business. 

This is an industry defined by cooperation, capital and courage — all crucial to turn the world’s many crises around. And the visionaries of tomorrow seeking to join green business need to start with a degree that provides a solid foundation in various disciplines, such as finance, marketing, strategy, and entrepreneurship. 

Perhaps the most profound value of a business degree lies in its potential to shape global outcomes. By combining business acumen with a broader perspective through the likes of ESG electives or internships, graduates can leverage their skills and knowledge to drive sustainable practices, social responsibility, and transformative innovation.

The best business degrees promise all of the above — and deliver extra benefits in the form of tools to champion social justice and ethical practices. These are programmes that train students and executive to navigate complex social issues, promote diversity and inclusion, and advocate for fair and equitable business practices through ethics, corporate social responsibility, and social entrepreneurship courses.

Here are three schools with stellar business degrees that will help you save the world:

business degree

Source: Saïd Business School

Saïd Business School

At Saïd Business School, delivering impact through business is no mere catchphrase. Embedded within the #1 university in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023), Oxford Saïd has what it takes to transform students into leaders for the extraordinary times we live in — and in as little as a year.

The Oxford MBA is a one-year journey filled with diverse views from a 64-nationality student body, made more dynamic still by their wide range of backgrounds and industry experience. As one of the best gender-balanced top business schools in the world, all views are heard and shared. All of this makes for an invigorating mix of brilliance that grows networks as much as it sparks life-long friendships.

And that’s just the business school alone. MBA students have access to Oxford’s large, powerful alumni network and high-profile guest speakers as well, through membership of the most prestigious debating society in the world: the Oxford Union. With no shortage of fresh perspectives, Oxford MBA students get to truly understand the role of business in society, adding impact to their current and future careers from day one.

For those looking for a two-year experience, the Oxford 1+1 MBA combines all of the above with a master’s degree from selected Oxford University departments. Choose from one of 35 Oxford master’s degrees — which include Master of Public Policy (Blavatnik School of Government) and MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine (Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine) — to gain specialised expertise in a particular field. Then you develop business skills through completing the MBA.

Applications for both programmes will open in August. In the meantime, download a brochure to learn more about the Oxford MBA or 1+1 MBA.

business degrees

Kellogg School of Management’s Social Impact Pathway is explicitly designed for those who want to create positive change. Source: Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management produces graduates who make an impact on a global scale. The school has international travel offerings to give students a taste of different cultures and business environments in about 70 countries. These opportunities include global initiatives in management, full-time exchange programmes, evening and weekend exchange programmes, global lab, Kellogg worldwide exploration student trips, and more. 

Its programmes push students out of their comfort zone, inspiring conversations that allow for multiple perspectives to be integrated, leading to growth and innovation. There are various MBA programmes to choose from, such as the Full-Time MBA, Evening & Weekend MBA and Executive MBA, as well as a doctoral programme, an MS in Management Studies and Certificate Programme for Undergraduates. 

Kellogg School of Management graduates benefit from a strong collaborative and inclusive spirit, which gives them better odds when applying for jobs. About 97% of students received an offer three months after graduation with a US$150,000 median base salary and US$30,000 median signing bonus. 

Kellogg School of Management has a Social Impact curriculum to train students on how to best pursue leadership positions with a wide range of organisations, from corporations and governmental entities to startups and social enterprises. There is also a Social Impact Pathway for those who want to create positive change throughout their careers. This arms them with the right tools to make an actual impact and identify and implement strategies, whether through partnerships between businesses, government or non-profits.  

business degrees

INSEAD Business School students benefit from an extensive network of alumni. Source: INSEAD Business School

INSEAD Business School

INSEAD Business School offers a range of master’s degrees, open programmes, foundation certificates, and more for aspiring business leaders to choose from. It is a highly-ranked business school with faculty that come from 41 countries. They are leaders in their respective fields, win awards, and conduct renowned research.

Students form a close-knit community after graduation, resulting in an extensive network of alumni that spans 180 countries with 168 nationalities. Every year, more than 900 events are organised and held worldwide — such as Global INSEAD Day, class reunions, forums to learn from alumni in myriads of private, public and social sector organisations worldwide.

An education at INSEAD has proven to offer graduates a competitive edge in whichever industries they choose to pursue, as well. From providing water solutions to over 300,000 people to enhancing Singapore’s space industry, INSEAD students go on to achieve many remarkable feats — and show no signs of stopping.

Recently, the business school appointed Professor Francisco Veloso as its new Dean, following an extensive and rigorous dean search process led by INSEAD faculty and the Board. Veloso brings a wealth of experience as the dean for business schools in the UK and Portugal. 

“I am honoured to have been chosen to take on the important role of Dean at INSEAD and express my gratitude to the faculty and INSEAD Board for placing their trust in me to lead the school into the future,” says Veloso. “I am excited to build upon the institution’s remarkable success and look forward to taking INSEAD to new heights.” 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International